School of Art

Karlito Miller Espinosa (MFA ‘19, Studio Art) AKA Mata Ruda unveiled a new art installation “Esta Tierra es Nuestra Tierra” (“This Land is Our Land”) at the FDR Four Freedoms State Park in New York City on Sept. 15.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the installation invites visitors to celebrate the diversity of the Latino experience in America

Alumnus Mata Ruda creates art installation in NYC ... artist in front  of installation
On the occasion of Hispanic Heritage Month, Four Freedoms Park Conservancy unveils a newly commissioned mural entitled “Esta Tierra Es Nuestra Tierra” and celebrate this newly envisioned monument with a “LatinXtravaganza” family festival at FDR Four Freedoms State Park on Roosevelt Island, Oct. 7. Curated by award-winning writer Xochitl Gonzalez, and featuring a large-scale public art installation by artist Mata Ruda, this program invites visitors to celebrate the diversity of the Latino experience in America.

“It’s a verse of a larger visual ballad that weaves together the importance of place and belonging,” said Mata Ruda, describing his inspiration. “One that celebrates individuals whose emotional and physical labor have contributed to the transformation of their communities. Because only in the collective, as Angela Davis said, do we find reservoirs of hope and optimism.

“I paint with wood stain, plaster, clay, adobe, because I don’t just want the work to be a visual representation of ideas, instead I want it to physically embody the message. The materials are not separate from the story, they carry baggage. Where musical notes made of mud and earth converge onto the granite steps of Four Freedoms Park,” he said. 

Mata Ruda worked in collaboration with other University of Arizona School of Art alumni Dorsey Kaufmann, Izzai Martinez Ángulo, and Ellenor Spencer on this beautiful installation, it will be on display until Oct. 15.

Alumnus Mata Ruda creates art installation in NYC ... close up image of installation

MATA RUDA (Karlito Miller Espinosa) is an artist who lives and works in the Southern Arizona U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. He was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, to American-Colombian and Costa Rican Parents. He lived in Venezuela until he was 11 years old when he moved with his family to the east coast of the United States. He creates paintings, public murals, objects and installations informed by the direct relationship between capitalism and the structuring role violence plays in its preservation. His studio practice pays particular attention to the absence, loss, migrations and transformations motivated by the inherent contradictions embedded within the social structures of society. Karlito participated in the 2020 Whitney Independent Study Program through the Whitney Musuem of American Art in New York, New York. He received his MFA from The University of Arizona in 2019 and his BFA from The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2012.